40% of smokers will try to quit smoking this year, but how many will actually be successful? Like most smokers, I have quit about a thousand times. On a few occasions, I have been able to steer clear of tobacco for quite a while, but it has always found a way back. Recently however, I have quit once again, only this time for good. Since it has been an ongoing challenge for me over the years, I thought I would share with everyone what worked for me.
In all honesty, it had nothing to do with the technique. I have used the patch, e-cigarette, hypnosis, etc., but none of it ever worked. This time, it was all mental. I reached a point for the first time in my life where I wanted to quit 100% for myself. In the past, I have always tried for someone else or because I knew better than to ingest such toxins into my body. During all my attempts however, I still longed for the joy that smoking brought me.
It wasn’t until I stopped enjoying it that I was actually able to quit. I got to a point where instead of looking forward to a smoke break at work, I found how inconvenient it was. I began to get disgusted with the constant stink of cigarettes that I wore and frustrated with the fact that all my perfume was being replaced by my nasty habit. My teeth were stained yellow, I was frequently short of breath and couldn’t get through any three hour period of time without needing a tobacco reboot. I resented cigarettes and the hold they had on me. I was tired of being their prisoner.
After careful thought and planning, I set a quit date for August 1, 2014. This would allow me plenty of time to prepare for the big change I would soon undergo. It wasn’t very long though until I realized that August was simply too far away. I wasn’t willing to wait that long. I had to kick the habit now! I decided to do it cold turkey, and set a new quit date for two days in advance.
The first day I refrained from lighting up gave me a great sense of empowerment and strength. I was finally taking back the control I had lost for so many years. While my determination helped me abstain from smoking, I would be lying if I said that the first day wasn’t a challenge. I’d be an even bigger liar if I said that by the second day I wasn’t ready to rip the hair from my roots and scream. I was reaching the breaking point where in the past I would have caved. However, this time around, my mindset was all new and I was zealous to overcome. As much as the withdrawal hurt, I wanted to be free of my addiction more than my body craved the nicotine. Each day that passed soon got easier and marked one more day of pure success.
Today is exactly one week since I embarked on this new journey. While it may not seem like enough time has passed for me to say I have permanently quit smoking, all I can say is my physiological need for a cigarette is far less than it was when I had been off of smokes for a year. The fact that I was truly ready and committed made all the difference. Sure, the cravings still peak, but there is nothing I want more than to make it through one more day tobacco free.
Just like anything else in life, as long as you devote yourself 100% to something, there will never be anything that you are not fully capable of. Growing up my parents always told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Now, I tell all of you, you can do anything you set your mind to.